The East Side of It All

Harbour Publishing

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The East Side of It All, written from the perspective of a drug user and single-room occupant in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, explores the ongoing process of healing through reconnection with family, the natural world and traditional Indigenous (Kwantlen) storytelling. Dandurand’s voice is lyrical yet intimate, obscured yet sitting with you at the kitchen table having a cigarette. The East Side of It All is the journey of a broken man who finally accepts his storytelling gift and shares with the world his misery, joy and laughter. Dandurand’s previous poetry collection was shortlisted for the 2020 Dorothy Livesay BC Book Prize for Poetry.

Prize(s): Short-listed Griffin Poetry Prize (2021) 

“Hands down, Joseph Dandurand is one of my all-time favourite writers...Good Lord—what a voice!”

–Richard Van Camp

“How does the Romantic keep on if he’s a contemporary First Nations guy? Like the poet Dandurand. There’s an honest that gets bare bones scary in some of these free verse poems...but thanks to the clarity, often irony of his vision, our awkward humanity speaks through.”

–Daniel David Moses

“These are powerful visionary parables of suffering, redemption and retribution...”

The Toronto Star

“Joseph Dandurand’s oeuvre is a marvel of witness, expressing tough, unflinching truths. The poet’s work dissects, reconfigures and takes to task settler-colonialism; his quotidian reflections read like parables, with startling economy. Whether drawing from his own spiritual immortality of cultural initiation, or from his insightful perspective as a survivor of the streets, the author conjures lived-in worlds that resonate through action over sentiment. His voice blends the streetwise with the oracular. Dandurand’s instantly relatable poems are deep, deep dives into rhythms that build a history of survival in place, wise to all that’s frail, strong, funny, and hopeful.”

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